Four Baltimore-area residents are facing federal charges after being indicted by a grand jury in an email scheme involving over $4 million in fraudulent bank transactions.
On Aug. 30, a federal grand jury indicted Raissa Kaossele, 22, of Baltimore, Damilola Ojo, 29, of Pikesville, Victor Ojo, 28, of Edgewood, and Jamelia Thompson, 29, of Pikesville, on charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
According to the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, from April 2016 to May 2019, the defendants executed a business email compromise scheme that sent fraudulent payment instructions to financial institutions and their business associates to misappropriate funds.
The indictment states that the defendants used stolen identifying information of individual victims to obtain Employer Identification Numbers and state business certificates in the names of shell businesses.
The defendants also obtained checks written on the accounts of businesses and clients, the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The defendants are accused of altering the name of the payee on some checks and depositing the stolen checks into bank accounts they opened and controlled.
The defendants and other conspirators then withdrew the unlawfully deposited funds from the accounts, according to the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office. The defendants and other co-conspirators conducted over $4 million in fraudulent bank transactions, according to the indictment.
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud, a maximum of 30 years in prison for bank fraud, and a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in federal prison consecutive to any other sentenced imposed for aggravated identity theft.
Thompson consented to detention and remains detained, while the other defendants were released on home detention with location monitoring, a court spokesperson said. There are no court dates currently scheduled on the case.